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For how much I have traveled and lived abroad in the last 7 years (90 something countries – Ukraine, Colombia, Australia, Luxembourg, Thailand etc.), I have not done a very good job of venturing out in my own neck of the woods (see: America). It is not that America doesn’t have sweet spots to travel to; they do, especially in the epic nature category. But I seem to always be on the west coast circuit (Seattle, San Francisco, LA, Vancouver) with the occasional one nightstand with New York leaving me with an empty wallet. When non-Americans ask me what are the best cities to visit in the USA, the general inclination is to blurt out the aforementioned spots, and maybe toss in some hedonism in Las Vegas for good measure, but the truth of the matter is, I think one of the best places to visit is the South when in the American heartland. Call it a yearning for something different, perhaps the girls in Dixie shorts and cowboy boots that say ‘ya’ll’ play a role, or maybe it is just a vibe in the air, but the South, specifically, New Orleans, Austin, and Nashville, I think have some serious cool shit going on.
Nashville is one of THE best places to visit in the South, Fo’ Real Ya’ll.
I spent a week in Austin Texas this past summer, and like the lazy blogger that I am – or perhaps more politely to myself – slightly distracted fighting a multi-national corporation who hijacked my identity, I didn’t think to do a photo spree or write about how great Austin is. Shame on me. I have yet to visit New Orleans, but Austin – oh sweet baby Jesus, is one of the best spots in America right now. I didn’t fair much better in the thinking department when I visited Nashville for the KEEN Digital Summit to speak because, well – I don’t do the whole “top ten things to see and do” in xyz destination, as I am too busy living in the moment, or in this specific case, knee deep in whiskey and live music. So to break my horrible streak of poor travel blogging form, I will in the least share some of the photos I took in Nashville via my super professional photography skills via a two-year-old iPhone via a camera that works only half the time. So if you happen to be planning a lastminute trip to the America, and have heard horror stories of airport security getting more familiar with you than your last lover, or equally amusing, if you have been to New York, and had a native there tell you kindly to go ‘fuck yourself’, then I implored you, before you rule America out as a complete den of assholery, give the South, and its legendary southern hospitality a spin. It will be worth it. I am not the only blogger who thinks so. Honest Injun.
WARNING: I probably don’t need to say this, as if you have stuck around my site this long, you aren’t hur for the photography skills – not unless blurred and incomprehensible is your thang. But I tried my best, and in America, that means you get a trophy and unearned parental phrase anyhow. So, back to the story: Why Nashville is one of best places to visit in the South. Period.
Fun Fact: When Elvis made his first appearance here with his Rock ‘n’ Roll swagger and played a cover of another artist. He received no love from the crowd. The backstage manager told him:
You should look for a new line of work son. You will never make it in this biz
The artist he covered ended up liking Elvis’s version so much, he remade the song to Elvis’s version. Elvis attended many concerts at the Ryman (Grand Ole Opry) but never played there again.
Didn’t stop me from jammin’ there with my boy Stephen though.
Oh and why again is Nashville one of the best places in the South to visit? Best late night bar food I have had in awhile.
Note: Good boots are like $2,000 and upwards, a small price to pay for some nice swagger.
And of course, Nashville is world renown for it’s amazing live music. Best I have ever heard. Oddly enough, it reminded me of the vibrant music scene in Cuba, where no where you go, no matter how small a venue, the live the music is unbelievable. Which brings me the local populace. Like being in L.A. where every person you meet is an aspiring actor, well in Nashville, everyone in Nashville is an singer. I mean everyone. Case in point, Karaoke at local dive bar…dive trailer – Santa’s Pub – has people rock the mic that can rock your socks off.
How can you not love a ‘pub’ that is in fact a trailer, that has some of the best live singers around, $2 beers, and a bouncer that looks like Santa – or a guy in the mountains who makes moonshine? [Santa/mountain man photo no included, or the kids might not get presents this xmas].
And you can’t talk about the best places to visit in the South without having a little bit of whiskey entering the picture.
But don’t you worry all you non-drinkers out there or high society, cultural folk. Nashville’s got you covered.
Okay back from that commercial break.
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And if that wasn’t enough to convince you that Nashville is one of the best places to visit in the South, then here is one last reason.